Friday 25 August 2017

The Australian Human Rights Commission today celebrates Wear it Purple Day in support of young lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.

Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow said Wear it Purple sends an important message to young LGBTI people.

“I’m wearing purple as a sign of support because I want young LGBTI people to feel safe, supported and proud of who they are.

“The Commission supports Wear it Purple because all people are born free and equal, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status,” Commissioner Santow said.

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell said Wear it Purple advances the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that all children, irrespective of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, have the right to a safe and healthy childhood free from discrimination.

“Research tells us that young LGBTI people can experience significant bullying and harassment because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

“I want to encourage everyone, of all ages and backgrounds, to acknowledge and respect young people who identify as LGBTI,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

Growing awareness of the bullying and harassment experienced by many LGBTI teenagers led to Wear it Purple’s establishment in 2010.

AFL player and the 2017 Young Australian of the Year for Victoria, Jason Ball, is a Wear it Purple ambassador.

Since coming out as gay in 2012, Jason has combated homophobia in sport and highlighted the damaging impact of homophobia on the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTI community.

Jason was also a guest speaker at the Human Rights Commission’s 2017 Australians of the Year event. Here is his story.